A lone figure stands silhouetted atop the Mausoleum of Hadrian. Behind him, the sun is setting over the centre of the known world. Far below, the river is in full flood. The City of Rome lies spread out before him on the far bank. Footsteps pound up the stairs. He's been set up. An enemy is closing in; he is cornered. He jumps.Bruised and battered, he crawls out of the raging river. He is alone and unarmed, without money or friends, trapped in a deadly conspiracy at the heart of the Empire. The City Watch has orders to take him alive; other, more sinister, forces want him dead. As the day dies, he realises he has only 24 hours to expose the conspirators, and save the leader of the world. If the Emperor dies, chaos and violence will ensue. If the Emperor dies, every single person he loves will die.He must run, bluff, hide and fight his way across the Seven Hills.He must reach the Colosseum, and the Emperor.He must make it to The Last Hour.
For readers of Bernard Cornwell, Ben Kane, Simon Scarrow and Conn Iggulden, this is a thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat
The best sort of red-blooded historical fiction - solidly based on a profound understanding of what it meant to be alive in a particular time and place. -- Andrew Taylor An exceptionally gifted story-teller drawing on prodigious learning. -- Tim Severin Absorbing, rich in detail and brilliant. * The Times * Swashbuckling as well as bloody, yet curiously plausible ... a real gift for summoning up a sense of place. * Times Literary Supplement * Ancient Rome has long been a favourite -destination for writers of historical military -fiction. Much the best of them is Harry -Sidebottom. * Sunday Times * An extraordinarily vivid take on the ancient world. Think of The Killing crossed with Andy McNab crossed with Mary Beard, and you're there. -- David Sexton * Evening Standard * An amazing story of bloodlust, ruthless ambition and revenge. -- Kate Saunders * The Times *
Harry Sidebottom was brought up in racing stables in Newmarket where his father was a trainer. He took his Doctorate in Ancient History at Oxford and has taught at various universities including Oxford, where he lectures in Ancient History. His first book Ancient Warfare: A Very Short Introduction was published in 2004 to critical acclaim and he has published numerous chapters in books, and articles and reviews in scholarly journals. His foray into fiction began with Fire in the East, the first of his six-novel 'Warrior of Rome' series, which has sold over half a million copies worldwide. His next series, Throne of the Caesars, was equally acclaimed. The Last Hour, his tenth novel, introduces us once again to Marcus Clodius Ballista, hero of the 'Warrior of Rome' books. www.harrysidebottom.co.uk